- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier anticipates gun violence to escalate as colder weather settles in.

That seems to be the first and most logical conclusion to statements she made Tuesday, after a night of violence in every quadrant of the District.

“October is always one of our most challenging months,” the chief said at a post-Halloween press conference with Mayor Vincent C. Gray.

But Tom Howell Jr. of The Washington Times also raised the red flag for readers, reporting that the chief said cold-weather clothing coupled with street arguments is a “recipe for disaster.” And herein lies Chief Lanier’s unbelievable remark: “Last night is a result of that ability to conceal guns in public.” Say it ain’t so, chief.

That the chief recognized October as a most challenging month for law enforcers is good news for all kindred spirits of law and order. After all, she did put manpower into action last month by conducting spot checks of criminals and suspects for contraband and implementing her “All Hands on Deck” program in communities across the city.

But bowing to the underground? The chief is trying to lower the public’s expectations, essentially warning us that, hey, that man in the grocery store waiting to buy his Thanksgiving turkey may also be hiding a handgun next to his wallet in the inside pocket of North Face jacket.

Or warning, warning: The teen sporting a poofy down vest could be packing as he conducts his last-minute Christmas shopping.What will her excuse be in the good ol’ summertime?

The real deal is that neither the chief nor the mayor wants law-abiding folks carrying weapons. And they voiced such displeasure when Congress considered a law that would have allowed out-of-towners with duly registered guns to possess them in the District.

Guns in and of themselves are not the problem.

A gun cannot jump into the hand of an individual, aim itself and fire itself.

It must have a willing accomplice, and coats, jackets and baggy pants and sweat clothes simply don’t fit the bill.

• Is Ron Moten poking at Mr. Gray or mimicking President Obama?

Residents and crime-fighters can always count on Mr. Moten, the Democrat-turned-Republican, for insight on crime trends and spikes in crime that are media-worthy.

He and Peaceaholics, the group he co-founded, make grass-roots efforts to police communities and politicians alike. But Mr. Moten, who recently launched his campaign to unseat Ward 7 D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander, just tarnished the jewel in his crown by overplaying the victimization card.

In a Nov. 3 statement on the Halloween night violence, he poked holes in the mayor’s “One City” mantra, revealed in his oh-so Democrat-like hand on class-baiting politics. And he kissed off an opportunity to lay out his own platform.

After saying he was saddened by the violence that occurred on Halloween and that residents of Wards 7 and 8 are victimized by violence on a “regular basis,” Mr. Moten said his campaign “will release a plan in the coming weeks on how to address this problem.”

Sounds like the words of a cookie-cutter black liberal, eh?

• And the first shall be last. Council member Tommy Wells, who wants to repeal the city’s Internet gambling law, says there is a bit of confusion making the rounds of the faith-based community.

“I don’t think they understand it’s gambling, and some ministers were surprised when I told them what i-gaming is all about,” Mr. Wells told reporter Jeffrey Anderson. “Anyone can say that [popular video games] ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ is i-gaming, or Pong.

“Who would show up for a listening session on i-gaming if they announced it’s all about legalized gambling? It would be a different show.” I’ll clarify: i-gaming is gambling via the Internet, and Mr. Wells is a staunch supporter of yanking the law off the books.

That’s why Ward 6, home to Capitol Hill and military employees, much of the city’s small-business community and low-income residents, is dead last on the list for a community forum on the controversial issue.

My advice to Mr. Wells is to round up the faith-based objectors for the Nov. 21 forum.

Round ‘em up.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.